Ads could flourish on Tinder: Interview with Unique Digital


By Chris Lee

Reports indicate that adverts could soon be introduced to Tinder, the popular free dating app.

Tinder’s user base is undisclosed but the company has said that it is growing fast. Greg Blatt from Tinder’s owner IAC told analysts that: “The nature of the Tinder user experience presents itself with real opportunities for native advertising that certain of our other products don’t.”

According to James Briscoe of digital media agency Unique Digital, if done properly, Tinder’s advertising revenues could begin to challenge the traditional Twitter and Facebook social media elite.

Starting fires

Tinder is less than two years old, having launched at a University of Southern California party in September 2012. The app, which is available on Apple and Android phones, uses Facebook profiles to match potential candidates who are most likely to be suited within a geographical location. Users can then anonymously like or pass on candidates provided by the app. If two users ‘like’ each other the app introduces them to converse.

The app won TechCrunch’s Crunchie Award for Best New Startup of 2013.

The opportunity for advertisers

For Unique Digital’s Briscoe, the launch of ads on Tinder cannot come soon enough.

“It’s great to see that Tinder is finally getting serious about monetising its users. As with many other social networks it has a very attractive audience to advertisers with a large and young base,” he told NMK. “Data-wise, they have enough richness to make ensure strong targeting and highly relevance advertising placements.”

Briscoe said that Tinder has an added revenue opportunity with a subscription service, enabling more advanced features or perhaps to opt out of advertising as users can with Spotify, for example.

“The major challenge is a question of scale and format; the use of ‘fake’ advertising profiles has only a certain life span before the users becomes frustrated. But again similarly to Spotify, they could well appear sporadically in the gap before the next profile appears,” Briscoe concluded. “If Tinder can get this right, it opens up a massive revenue opportunity that could even start to challenge the likes of Twitter and Facebook, if not then many advertisers may just swipe left.”

Look out for Twine

As a kind of antidote to the potential looks-based element of using Tinder, Twine Canvas presents images of another user’s similar interests and an image of that user only appears after their profile has been ‘liked’ by a prospect.

Whether or not Twine catches fire quite like Tinder has remains to be seen. What is clear is that the dating app space is really opening up and reached the point where ads have become viable.

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